History was made this year with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s Rookie of the Year selection. Co-winners were announced for the first time in the history of the swimsuit edition. Both fitness influencer Katie Austin and model Christen Harper were named SI Swimsuit Rookies of the Year. Receiving the honor guarantees that Katie and Christen will be invited back for next year’s swimsuit edition.
There were six other rookies in the 2022 issue that they were selected over: Cindy Kimberly, Duckie Thot, Georgina Burke, Kamie Crawford, Maye Musk and Olivia Ponton.
SI Swimsuit’s editor-in-chief, MJ Day, explained the magazine’s decision to name both of them as winners by saying, “This whole brand is what you guys represent—fabulous people supporting each other, doing their thing bigger and better all the time.”
“Really motivated, smart individuals who keep creating opportunities for themselves and keep growing. You do it for each other, and you do it for random strangers and you do it for us,” she added. “It’s pretty awesome. There’s never been two more worthy people.”
The two best friends took to social media, as people do these days, to share the good news. Katie said of being selected as one of the winners, “OHHHH MY GOOOOSHHHH. WE’RE ROOKIES OF THE FREAKIN YEAR BABY Christen Harper !!!!”
“Thank you endlessly to SI swimsuit for not only changing my life this year and naming us ROTY, but introducing me to my bestie. I feel so grateful to be a part of this brand and movement. It really is exactly what it stands for.”
Double SI Swimsuit Trouble, Christen Harper & Katie Austin
Christen said of the honor, “What an absolute insane honor to be named ROOKIE OF THE YEAR by SI Swimsuit along with my best friend Katie Austin.”
“As a young girl I greatly looked up to the women that were honored with this title. To think I’m in the same conversation as all the incredible women before me gives me chill and inspires me to work even harder and dream even bigger.”
The two winners both made their Sports Illustrated Swimsuit debuts through the open casting call, SI Swim Search. Katie and Christen were also named co-winners of SI Swim Search last September.
That put them in the 2022 edition of the magazine and the rest is history. The daughter of fitness legend Denise Austin and the fiancée of Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff will be forever linked together in swimsuit magazine lore.
There will certainly be some haters out there for SI Swimsuit’s selection and the fact that co-winners were announced. Some people just want to hate. I’m not among the haters. My feeling is they could have done much worse if they really wanted to.